On the 70th Anniversary of the Execution of Sophie Scholl, 22 February 1943 - Sophie Scholl was a German woman executed by the Nazis for distributing anti-Nazi pamphlets. Prison officials, in later describing the scene, emphasized the courage with which she walked to her execution. Her last words were: "How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to offer themselves up individually for a righteous cause? Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go."
"A smell of charred flesh stifles the breath. Unwittingly, I catch a glimpse of the mountains of clothing, shoes, bedding...The dense mass of people is pushed toward and jammed through a gate... Down this Alley, completely naked, they took their last walk-my dear wife and children, father, mother, brothers and sisters..." Quoted from testimony of the father of the two children pictured, Guta and Abus Strawczynski, who were murdered at Treblinka. The father survivied.
After the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, German SS guards, exhausted from their forced labor clearing the bodies of the dead, are allowed a brief rest by British soldiers but are forced to take it by lying face down in one of the empty mass graves. (April 1945)
Emmi G.,16, diagnosed as schizophrenic, fell victim to the Euthanasia Program, Germany's first mass murder program, one of many eugenic measures to restore German racial "integrity" by killing those with disabilities. At first only infants and toddlers were killed, but the program eventually included juveniles up to 17. At least 5,000 German children perished in the "euthanasia" program. Emmi was sterilized and later killed with an overdose of tranquilizers on December 7, 1942.
'I’ve asked myself again and again whether it wouldn’t have been better if we hadn’t gone into hiding, if we were dead now and didn’t have to go through this misery, especially so that the others could be spared the burden. But we all shrink from this thought. We still love life, we haven’t yet forgotten the voice of nature, and we keep hoping, hoping for…everything.' - Anne Frank at age 11, 1941
San Thomas Prison Liberation Two emaciated American civilians, Lee Rogers (L) & John C. Todd, sit outside gym which had been used as a Japanese prison camp following their release by Allied forces liberating the city. Location: Manila, Luzon, Philippines Date taken: February 05, 1945 Photographer: Carl Mydans Life Images